Since their introduction into clinical practice in the early 1960s, long-acting depot antipsychotics have been widely used as maintenance therapy for patients with schizophrenia. The improved pharmacokinetics of injectable long-acting antipsychotic therapies have provided more reliable drug delivery and reduced differences in peak and trough plasma levels of the drug. Studies that have compared short-acting oral antipsychotics with long-acting injectable antipsychotics, although imperfect, support injectable antipsychotics as having real benefit over oral antipsychotics on patient outcome owing largely to improved adherence. If patients forget or refuse to take their prescribed oral medications, weeks or months may go by before they experience an exacerbation; the effects of nonadherence become apparent too late to preempt the problem. On the other hand, if a patient fails to show up for an injection, the problem of nonadherence can be immediately addressed. When injectable medication is combined with an active psychosocial treatment program that will respond assertively to nonadherence, relapse rates may be reduced. By preventing or delaying relapse, consistent treatment can improve the patient's quality of life and lead to an overall reduction in the cost of care.
"However, patients consenting to clinical trials of LAIs may not be representative of those prescribed LAIs in real-world settings [Haddad et al. 2009], since they might over-represent patients with better engagement with healthcare providers, better adherence to treatment, lower illness severity and better cognitive capabilities to understand complex issues. In fact, patients who do not reliably take their oral medications may be less likely to volunteer for RCTs, particularly if a treatment arm includes a LAI [McEvoy, 2006; Davis, 2010]. It is also important to recognize that participation in a controlled trial alters the ecology of treatment delivery and experience. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite their widespread use, long acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotics (APs), are often regarded with some negativity because of the assumption of punishment, control and insufficient evolution towards psychosocial development of patients. However, LAI APs have proved effective in schizophrenia and other severe psychotic disorders because they assure stable blood levels, leading to a reduction of the risk of relapse. Therapeutic opportunities have also arisen after introduction of newer, second-generation LAI APs in recent years. Newer LAI APs are more readily dosed optimally, may be better tolerated and are better suited to integrated rehabilitation programmes.
This review outlines the older and newer LAI APs available for the treatment of schizophrenia, with considerations of past and present pharmacological and therapeutic issues. Traditional, evidence-based approaches to systematic reviews and randomized clinical trials are of limited utility in this area so this paper’s blending of experimental trials with observational research is particularly appropriate and effective.
Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology 07/2014; DOI:10.1177/2045125314540297 · 1.53 Impact Factor
"Attributes that may influence prescribing of long-acting formulations and patient acceptance include stigma
, pain associated with injection
 and embarrassment arising from the need to remove clothing for gluteal injections
. Although first-generation depot antipsychotics that use oil-based formulations are associated with pain on injection
, aqueous-based formulations of LAI antipsychotics generally have good injection site tolerability
. Furthermore, injection into the deltoid muscle requires minimal removal of clothing
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Discontinuation of antipsychotic treatment for schizophrenia can interrupt improvement and exacerbate the illness. Reasons for discontinuing treatment are multifactorial and include adherence, efficacy and tolerability issues. Poor adherence may be addressed through non-pharmacological approaches as well as through pharmacological ones, ie ensured delivery of medication, such as that achieved with long-acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotics. However, attitudes of healthcare professionals (HCPs) towards LAI antipsychotics may influence their prescribing decisions and may influence medication choices offered to patients. We therefore conducted a survey to investigate factors driving LAI use as well as physician and nurse attitudes to LAI antipsychotics and to different injection sites.
An independent market research agency conducted the survey of HCPs across Europe. Participants were recruited by telephone and completed the survey online. Using conjoint analyses (a multivariate statistical technique analysing preferences on the basis of ranking a limited number of attributes which are presented repetitively), attitudes to oral versus LAI medication and gluteal versus deltoid injection routes were assessed.
A total of 891 HCPs across Europe were surveyed. Of these, 40% would choose LAI antipsychotics for first episode patients whereas 90% would select LAI antipsychotics for chronic patients with two to five psychotic episodes. Dominant elements in antipsychotic choice were low sedation but no tardive dyskinesia, no or mild pain at injection and low risk of embarrassment or impact upon therapeutic alliance. Eighty-six per cent of respondents considered that having the choice of a deltoid as well as gluteal administration site was beneficial over not having that choice. Two thirds of respondents said they agreed that medication administration via the deltoid muscle may reduce social embarrassment associated with LAI antipsychotics and most respondents (61%) believed that administration of LAI antipsychotics into the deltoid muscle as opposed to the gluteal muscle may be more respectful to the patient.
In this survey of physicians and nurses, attitudes towards LAI antipsychotics compared with oral medication were generally positive. Respondents considered that the availability of a deltoid administration route would offer increased choice in LAI antipsychotic administration and may be perceived as more respectful and less socially embarrassing.
"Long-acting injectable antipsychotics (e.g., fluphenazine decanoate, haloperidol decanoate) were developed to simplify treatment and improve adherence. The pharmacokinetic profile of these agents showed reduced differences in peak and trough plasma drug levels, which allowed for more reliable drug delivery . Meta-analysis of injectable versus oral therapy showed that relapse rates were significantly lower with injectable therapy [6-8]. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate effectiveness outcomes in a real-world setting in patients with schizophrenia initiating risperidone long-acting therapy (RLAT).
This was a 24-month, multicenter, prospective, longitudinal, observational study in patients with schizophrenia who were initiated on RLAT. Physicians could change treatment during the study as clinically warranted. Data were collected at baseline and subsequently every 3 months up to 24 months. Effectiveness outcomes included changes in illness severity as measured by Clinical Global Impression-Severity (CGI-S) scale; functional scores as measured by Personal and Social Performance (PSP) scale, Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF), and Strauss-Carpenter Levels of Functioning (LOF); and health status (Medical Outcomes Survey Short Form-36 [SF-36]). Life-table methodology was used to estimate the cumulative probability of relapse over time. Adverse events were evaluated for safety.
532 patients were enrolled in the study; 209 (39.3%) completed the 24-month study and 305 (57.3%) had at least 12 months of follow-up data. The mean (SD) age of patients was 42.3 (12.8) years. Most patients were male (66.4%) and either Caucasian (60.3%) or African American (23.7%). All changes in CGI-S from baseline at each subsequent 3-month follow-up visit were statistically significant (p < .0001), indicating improvement in disease severity. Improvements were also noted for the PSP, GAF, and total LOF, indicating improvement in daily functioning and health outcome.
Patients with schizophrenia who were initiated on RLAT demonstrated improvements in measures of effectiveness within 3 months, which persisted over 24 months.
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